http://paloaltoonline.com/blogs/p/print/2013/11/04/freedom-and-disgust-my-first-outing-to-old-navy


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By Jessica T

Freedom and disgust: my first outing to Old Navy

Uploaded: Nov 4, 2013

Seven weeks after the twins were born, I ventured out alone for the first time. I was behind the wheel of my perky, bumper-sticker laden Mazda, no longer pregnant and fragile. In the cd player was a new mix from a friend. I sported my sunglasses with the windows open. The sun shone, and I felt free and 19 again and all that was missing from my teenage years was a nicotine buzz.

Eager to shed the 50 pounds I gained with the twins, I was heading quickly to Old Navy to get a cheap swimsuit so I could dive back into the pool. I had no more than 45 minutes to find something that fit before my husband would be burdened by crying, hungry babies in need of a nurse. I loaded a dressing room with every style of bikini and one piece they carried in a number of sizes. I wasn't completely unrealistic; I didn't reach for extra small, but I was disturbed to realize the following:

1) It might take more than 45 minutes to find anything at all that I could wear in public.

2) My bikini days were over. For good. (Indeed I was not 19, but nearly double that age...)

3) My breasts couldn't even fit in a small top (despite the fact that they barely filled an extra small pre-pregnancy). They had ballooned to a medium and they hurt.

4) The fluorescent lighting revealed that I had cellulite on the front of my thighs (in addition, of course, to the back) something I had previously thought not possible.

The ride home was quite a bit less celebratory. I did find a suit in a strange white and turquoise pattern that made me look like an out-of-shape pin-up model. And I tried to shrug off the fact that I no longer recognized the body I lived in. I wouldn't be out of my maternity clothes for a while, and to estimate when I might fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes was none other than cruel and unusual punishment.

I pulled into my driveway to the sound of anxious babies crying. My vanity dissolved, and I disappeared back into mommy oblivion.

Have you had a similar experience? How has your self-image and body image changed since becoming a mother?

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